Let me be clear: this isn’t your grandmother’s Hot Stove. Instead, it’s more like your niece’s. A video so viral, it cannot even be housed here at avp.com. One take, my kitchen, Flip Cam in my cupboard with a jar of Jif peanut butter as my tripod, zero editing and a new home on the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour Facebook Fan Page…renegade-style.
Why has the Hot Stove suspiciously migrated north by northwest? Well, to quote the Merovingian, “cause and effect.” The only real truth. Cause: I don’t own a Mac, nor do I have the knowledge to decipher Final Cut Pro. Effect: If I want to shoot Hot Stove videos on a time-sensitive basis, a Flip Cam and my PC are my only options. Action, reaction. Done.
If you refuse to join the six billion-plus on Facebook, growing fake gardens and saving imaginary dolphins, I completely understand. It’s a little overwhelming to say the least. And disheartening if you ask me, but that’s a topic for another time. Regardless, I will continue to recap all the player movement prior to each tournament right here on avp.com in a written report, so you never have to feel left out.
Note: I’m fully aware I look like Simple Jack in the screen grab on Facebook, and I whole-heartedly apologize if my stalled face mid-speech frightened anyone’s children. From now on, a generic video title page stating which episode you’re about to watch will replace my frozen grill.
Enough explanations, on to the action…
For the Women:
Brooke Hanson and Lisa Rutledge are parting ways. Bottom line: Nine top-five finishes and one finals appearance last season were not enough to keep these two from looking for greener pastures. Two 9ths and three 7ths to open the summer will apparently do that to a team expecting nothing less than crossovers.
Hanson allegedly made the first move and pried Lauren Fendrick away from long-time partner Ashley Ivy. And in response, Rutledge will complete the switcheroo and team up with Ivy next weekend in Hermosa Beach. As stated in the video, if they’re both able to win their first rounds, they’ll match up against each other in the second round for the grudge match of the year.
Other new teams in the draw next weekend include Kelly Wing and Nancy Reynolds (formerly Mason, back from retirement once again), and Diane Pascua and Paige Jensen (formerly Davis).
For the Men:
It all begins with big Fred Souza and recently injured partner Pedro Brazao. Pedro informed Fred of the severity of his toe injury following Virginia Beach, attempted to play Belmar with a wrapped foot, finished in 17th place, confessed he didn’t believe he’d be able to perform to the ability expected of him on the court in Hermosa, and essentially dumped himself upon departing the East Coast. Fred goes to the drawing board and picks up Ty Tramblie, while Pedro elects to compete in the draw anyway, despite his injury, with 6’10” Andrew Fuller.
Tramblie, a regular at CDM Fitness in Corona Del Mar, has been waiting his entire career for the opportunity to play alongside a veteran like Souza. So, although the phone call to partner Russ Marchewka may have been awkward, I guarantee it was understood. How Tramblie handles the pressure on the court come Saturday afternoon in that match for 7th remains to be seen.
Where does that leave Marchewka? How about alongside somewhat unknown future star, Adrian Carambula? Straight out of Florida at the ripe age of 22, Carambula could be the future of the Tour. His skills are there, his vision is there and his sky ball is better than there. Whether he can continue to bring it as other players learn more about his style of play is the only real question mark. It’s always easier to make a statement as the underdog, but that title doesn’t stick around forever.
Also splitting are Adam Roberts and Joey Dykstra. After a great start in Fort Lauderdale, finishing tied for 9th place, this team has struggled to rediscover its groove. One 13th, two 17ths and a 25th later, you have two good players looking for a better fit. Dykstra grabs Mike Placek after his two-tournament vacation, while Roberts goes with the rejuvenated Scotty Lane.
Anthony Medel, on the other hand, was mulling over calling it a year after a disappointing start to the summer following off-season surgery. Instead, he’s elected to bring Adam Jewell out of pseudo-retirement and give it another shot. You’ll see where his former partner of just two events landed in the next paragraph.
Other new teams battling it out in the qualifier next Friday include Albert Hanneman and Seth Burnham, Evan Engle and Jon Mesko, John Moran and Mark Van Zwieten, Duncan Budinger and Matt Henderson and indoor gods Dave McKienzie and Curt Toppel.
That’s it for this edition of the Hot Stove; see you next time…most likely immediately following Long Beach in two weeks.
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